LCCI urges Govt. to avoid making increase in gas tariff

Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Tuesday urged the government to avoid making any increase in gas tariff as it would jack-up cost of doing business manifold and oust the export-oriented industries from the international export market.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that such anti-business acts of the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) would hamper the growth of manufacturing sector that was already facing a number of internal and external challenges.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the proposed raise would create multiple problems for the industrialists as they have to bear heavy loss while fulfilling their export commitments.

He said that the government functionaries or Ministers always vow to take the private sector on board on all future decisions but they do not bother to consult LCCI or any other sector-specific association while jacking up the gas tariff.

LCCI President said that the impact of reported increase from April 01 would be much bigger than the expectation of the government who should avoid any such decision keeping in view the economic scenario in the country.

The LCCI President said that increase in the gas tariff will put extra burden on cash starved industry therefore the OGRA authorities should avoid to take such initiatives.

“By making such decisions, the OGRA would not be doing any service to the industry but actually they are widening the gap between the private sector and government.”

He said that at a time when all the governments in the world were facilitating their respective private sectors, the situation in Pakistan is the other way round and various government departments were tightening noose around the private sector.

While quoting the example of textile sector, the LCCI President said that it is one of the most value-added and export-oriented sectors in Pakistan which accounts for more than 60 percent of total exports of the country. 95 per cent of its inputs are locally produced and by making energy out of their reach, government is in fact curbing the use of local inputs.”

He said that even the slightest raise in the cost of production, at this critical juncture, would, therefore, spell doom and oust Pakistani merchandise from the international export market which would deprive the exchequer of much-needed valuable foreign exchange to the tune of billions of dollars.

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